Experiencing the 220 km run in Hennur Bamboo Forest
In the last week of February ’18, I was chatting with Vishal Adhau and he mentioned that there was a 220 km event happening at Bangalore. I quickly looked it up and found the idea of running at c very intriguing. Bangalore has been very special to me, since I had run my first 24 hours at Hennur.
My plan was to get a comfortable long run for my Adventure Project where I plan to run 480 Kms from Manali to Leh. I wanted the mileage in my legs to gain confidence.
The Race route cruised you through beautiful Bamboo Plantations. It’s a two-section trail. During the day it was 10K trail looper – sheer 5k trail out and back. At night it was a 2k loop – 1k out and back. The trail was flat. Its crushed mud, hard packed dirt, bamboo trees and leaves provide scenic and impeccable views. The Aid stations were very well equipped and managed at Km 0, Km 2 & Km 4.
I was so stoked to see Sushil ji and Ankur bhai managing the entire event so well and also running their bit. I observed that they attended to a multitude of unseen race details with patience. Team Bhasin Sports ensured that they pampered the runners with their needs which was incredible. There were three meals arranged for all the days. Praveen Shetty kept meeting us on the route to keep our spirits high which was commendable. Loud cheers greeted the runners.
After every 50k, I managed to get some stretches at the Physio corner. The Physiotherapists were simply fantastic and attended to me to the best of their ability. I believe that while running such long distances these guys play a pivotal role.
The weather was cool in the night and early morning but the heat whipped us out during the day. The peacocks and birds' songs were mesmerizing and kept me going steady. My strategy was to execute SCR (Slow Continuous Run) and to check how my body responded at 220kms, since for the adventure project I would have to push another 260k. Vishal and I ran the entire race together and we had a blast discussing so many things in general. For a few kms at night we also had the company of Aditya , Sukanto Roy, Minesh Koli, L L Meena. We kept talking and cracking up on running discussions. We also passed and exchanged pleasantries with Bala. On the second day, Vishal and I pushed our limits and clocked crazy number of 2k loops which I had never done before. I was so thrilled with how zoned one can get once you start pushing your body beyond a certain point.
This was the first time i was running this distance officially. I have run up to 250 Kms in my training run. The race was beautiful and it gave a good perspective of how I needed to pursue ultra-endurance races.
The race was a good prep for the big whale line up for me this June and I had a blast meeting so many old friends and making new ones too. Vishal and I had a blast and finished together. My sincere thanks to Sushil ji and Ankur bhai for hosting such an incredible event. With such an excellent trail and event vibe, the Hennur Bamboo Ultra is a great way to close off the summer! Will be back for more! Much love to all!